The 2021 regular season is now done, and the NFL MVP odds are still providing a terrific subplot.
Aaron Rodgers, aiming to repeat after claiming the coveted award in 2020, is now a strong favorite for a second straight title in 2021. He has competition though from the GOAT Tom Brady.
Here is all you need to know about the current NFL betting odds to be the best player in the biggest league of all.
Who is favored to win the NFL MVP?
Rodgers maintained his position as favorite to repeat as MVP despite Green Bay losing in Week 18. But their game in Detroit was meaningless with the #1 seed in the NFC already locked up. And you can hardly blame it on Aaron.
All Rodgers did Sunday before he retired to the safety of the Green Bay sideline was throw for 138 yards, two TDs and a passer rating of 135.6. His numbers for the year are astonishing – 4115 passing yards, 37 TD passes vs just 4 interceptions, a completion percentage of 68.9 and an overall passer rating of 111.9. Spectacular in any language.
Rodgers now waits until February 10 to find out if a second straight MVP award will be his, and he’s currently a strong -556 favorite (bet $556 to win $100).
Next comes Brady, who finished the regular season with a terrific day as Tampa Bay routed Carolina in Week 18. TB12 threw for 326 yards and 3 scores, bringing his season totals to 5316 passing yards, 43 TD passes vs 12 interceptions. He is a +450 shot (bet $100 to win $450).
The chances of a non-quarterback winning the award pretty much disappeared Sunday as Indianapolis RB Jonathan Taylor ended his season quietly on a disastrous day for the Colts in Jacksonville.
Going into the game in Florida, Indy just needed a W to advance to the postseason. But instead of coming up big when it most mattered, the team capitulated meekly to the sorry Jags.
Taylor, who has had huge days against Jacksonville in the past, racked up just 77 rushing yards and failed to find the endzone. From being +700 going into Sunday’s game to win MVP, Taylor is now +1500.
The other non-QB candidate, Rams WR Cooper Kupp, also ended the regular season a losing note as L.A. dropped a home game to San Francisco. Luckily for the Rams, Arizona also lost so Sean McVay’s crew do claim the NFC West title.
Kupp did have what is for him a pretty average receiving day with 118 yards and a score, and he is now +2000 to create a huge MVP upset.
Next in the betting is Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow (+2500), who finished the season ridiculously hot. He is also very fighting it out with Dak Prescott to be voted NFL Comeback Player Of The Year in 2021.
The market leaders right now are as follows, along with best updated odds for each one (all with PointsBet):
- -556 Aaron Rodgers (QB, Green Bay Packers)
- +450 Tom Brady (QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
- +1500 Jonathan Taylor (RB, Indianapolis Colts)
- +2000 Cooper Kupp (WR, Los Angeles Rams)
- +2500 Joe Burrow (QB, Cincinnati Bengals)
NB: All odds correct on January 10, 2022
MVP Race – The Leading Contenders
Aaron Rodgers: When Rodgers started 2021 with a terrible showing in that 38-3 rout at the hands of New Orleans, repeating as MVP looked pretty unlikely. After that though #12 was absolutely lights out, leading the Packers to the #1 seed in the NFC. After that Saints debacle he threw 37 touchdown passes against just two interceptions. Sensational in any language.
Tom Brady: Brady’s search for an eighth Super Bowl ring continues, but in the meantime he has every chance of another MVP award. He looked as great as ever in 2021, directing a high-powered Bucs offense in stellar fashion. Even when Chris Godwin went down and Antonio Brown melted down, TB12 continued to operate at a high level. The net result was more than 5300 passing yards along with 43 TD passes vs just 12 interceptions.
Jonathan Taylor: Taylor’s career year fizzled out in Jacksonville in January as the Colts dropped a shocker to miss out on a postseason berth which had looked a certainty two weeks before. But the Indy back still had an amazing year as he racked up more than 1800 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. He was the heart and soul of an Indy team which recovered from an awful start to home in on a playoff berth. It was not to be, but the fact Jonathan put himself in the MVP conversation speaks volumes.
Cooper Kupp: What can you say about Kupp? Incredible production all year long as he formed an unbelievable partnership with new Rams QB Matthew Stafford. He produced an astonishing 1947 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns as he powered Los Angeles to an NFC West title. Uncoverable, unstoppable, but will that be enough to net an MVP award? Time will tell.
Joe Burrow: The former LSU standout was brilliant in 2021 as he came back from the devastating knee injury which curtailed his rookie season in 2020. Burrow hooked up with former LSU BFF Ja’Marr Chase to strike fear into opposing defenses. Burrow ended his season on an incredible high – throwing for almost 1000 yards and 8 TDs in the wins over Baltimore and Kansas City which clinched an unlikely AFC North title for the Bengals.
Previous winners – the stats
Next time anybody tries to tell you the NFL is not all about the quarterback, just show them the odds to be MVP. Then show them the list of previous winners.
There is a reason this list is so one-sided – it’s based on past history and fact.
Since the Pro Football Writers of America began naming an MVP in 1975, the men under center have dominated. Thirty-two QBs have won the award outright in that time while Brett Favre shared with Barry Sanders in 1997.
Running backs are next best with 11 successes along with that Sanders share. But the decreasing value of that position is highlighted by the fact a runner hasn’t taken the award since Adrian Peterson in 2012.
In recent years – partly thanks to rule changes – it is all about the QB. They have won the award every year since Peterson and account for 17 of the last 20 winners. The last 10 winners are:
- 2011: Aaron Rodgers (QB, Green Bay)
- 2012: Adrian Peterson (RB, Minnesota)
- 2013: Peyton Manning (QB, Denver)
- 2014: Aaron Rodgers (QB, Green Bay)
- 2015: Cam Newton (QB, Carolina)
- 2016: Matt Ryan (QB, Atlanta)
- 2017: Tom Brady (QB, New England)
- 2018: Patrick Mahomes (QB, Kansas City)
- 2019: Lamar Jackson (QB, Baltimore)
- 2020: Aaron Rodgers (QB, Green Bay)
The only two players outside QB and RB to be NFL MVP in the modern era are both generational talents – potentially the greatest ever at their positions.
Linebacker Lawrence Taylor (the only defensive winner) was best of all in 1986 as he anchored the Giants D on that epic Super Bowl run. San Francisco WR Jerry Rice meanwhile was the only pass catcher to win the award one year later.
Who chooses the NFL MVP?
The NFL MVP is chosen annually by 50 sports writers – but it’s important to note when they actually make their choice.
The writers all vote for MVP at the end of the regular season – so that is all that matters. Playoff success will not count at all.
When is the NFL MVP announced?
The award is now part of the NFL’s big Honors ceremony, which takes place during Super Bowl Week.
The next ceremony to announce the 2021 winner will take place on Thursday February 10, 2022 at YouTube Theater in Los Angeles. The ceremony will begin at 9pm Eastern Time/8pm Central Time/6pm Pacific Time.
Watch the announcement on TV
The Awards Ceremony will be televised nationally and live on Thursday February 10, 2022 – from 9pm Eastern Time.
ABC will broadcast the Ceremony live and it will also be simulcast on ESPN+ and NFL Network.